STPSs stand for Sustainability & Transformation Plans. They are five year plans which outline NHS funding priorities for an area.

The Kent and Medway STP is being written by a partnership of local health and care leaders including representatives from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs),  NHS trusts and Kent County Council. The plan identifies where money should be spent and on what.

STPs are not in principle a bad idea; they were designed to encourage staff to consider how we should develop new models of care ; but the government is now using them to force doctors to consider how it can save 25 per cent of its budget by 2021.

The government says they are putting more money into the NHS every year. However they have increased funding by 2 per cent when demand is going up by twice that. This is a real terms cut.

The draft STP for Kent was published in March 2017 and includes plans to cut more than £480m from the NHS budget in Kent.  Dates of consultation events are published on the STP website.